Elevating the Brand of Vietnamese Furniture

Over the past 30 years, Vietnam’s wood processing industry has been asserting itself as a global furniture supplier. Now is the opportune time for this “manufacturing brand” to be upgraded and expanded.

It is no coincidence that the furniture industry is included in the implementation projects of the Vietnam National Brand program by the Ministry of industry and Trade. As one of the 8 sectors significantly contributing to the national GDp, Vietnam’s wood processing sector has built an impressive reputation, becoming a supplier of choice in the minds of international buyers. in Vietnam, buyers can find a complete range of products, from high-end furniture, 5-6 star interior projects, exquisite handicrafts, industrial furniture, flat-packaging… all at affordable options. This is the “brand” of the industry.

The process of building the “manufacturing brand” of Vietnamese furniture has greatly benefited from Foreign Direct investment (FDi), which has brought successful furniture production models to Vietnam. As a result, domestic enterprises have had the opportunity to gradually gain trust in the global market, secure orders, and create employment for hundreds of thousands of workers.

However, subcontracting is a passive and entirely dependent business model. The “manufacturing brand” of Vietnam’s wood processing industry itself is not strong enough. Evidence of this is that the majority of high-end furniture production orders are handled by FDi entities. The export volume of foreign-owned enterprises is equivalent to that of domestic ones, despite being much fewer in number. Further efforts to improve the position and enhance the “manufacturing brand” by improving internal capabilities to secure higher-value orders is imperative for Vietnamese-native enterprises.

Beyond the “manufacturing brand” lies the story of corporate brands and national brands. To step out of the shadow of ordering entities, every enterprise needs to have its own voice in the global market.

This global voice is built through design development, sustainable commitment, and proactive engagement with international customers. Starting from the OEM model, the stepping stone for Vietnamese furniture enterprises to move towards building global brands is ODM, developing designs, and offering design sales along with manufacturing capabilities to achieve higher added value.

A clear strategy is needed to build the national brand of the Vietnamese furniture industry, with the first step being to support enterprises in establishing an image towards the global market. HawaExpo is organised to serve this goal. The alliance of furniture associations nationwide, with the participation of VIFOREST, HAWA, BIFA, DOWA, FPA, is striving to create a space for furniture enterprises to showcase all strengths to global buyers. It is expected that HawaExpo 2024 will welcome 25,000 visitors from both domestic and international markets. Among them, approximately 4,000 international buyers have already registered. The exhibition will be where furniture enterprises can demonstrate their full manufacturing capabilities, design capabilities, and goals for green conversion and sustainable development.

Following the international trading event HawaExpo, in the coming time, HAWA will organise more activities, seminars… focused on building brands for furniture enterprises. At the same time, HAWA will reach out to FDI partners aiming at connection, cooperation, and creating alliances with Vietnamese enterprises in the industry ecosystem, thus allowing buyers more choices.

Vietnam’s furniture industry is extremely promising, and Vietnamese furniture enterprises are strong enough to become significant industry players. The strategy of building the national furniture brand will include demonstrating potential, attractiveness of the industry in order to attract young people, encourage entrepreneurship, and bring in new creative content.

The lesson learned from the Hoa Mai Furniture Design Awards: It took 20 years from the first launch of this creative playground from HAWA to make an impression on the regional furniture community, attracting hundreds of domestic furniture designers to participate.

The journey of building brands for furniture enterprises requires a lot of patience, effort, and determination. But once achieved, the brand will be a springboard for enterprises to take control of even greater values along the supply chain.

By Nguyen Quoc Khanh – Chairman of HAWA

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